Duffy Town

James Nicholson Duffy was born in Ireland in 1829 and served as a Civil War Union Army Officer. He was commissioned as Captain and commander of Company C, 2nd New Jersey Volunteer Infantry on May 27, 1861. He served with his unit in the First Bull Run Campaign and the Peninsular Campaign. Duffy was promoted to Major of the regiment in July 1862 and during the September 1862 Antietam Campaign he was transferred to the 3rd New Jersey Volunteer Infantry and promoted Lieutenant Colonel.

He was then detailed to command the 4th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry at the Battle of Fredericksburg when its commander, Colonel William Hatch, was mortally wounded, but was soon assigned as an aide and assistant inspector general on the staff of division commander Major General William Books. He served in this position through the Chancellorsville Campaign, then for a brief time as commander of his regiment before being again assigned to staff work, this time as an aide to division commander Major General Horatio G. Wright.

Duffy was on General Wright's staff during the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. On September 29, 1863, he was commissioned as Colonel of the 4th New Jersey Infantry, but was unable to assume this rank, due to regulations that restricted undersized units from mustering in officers of high rank (the 4th New Jersey Infantry had been seriously reduced by the war). He was not mustered in his new rank, and remained a Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd New Jersey Infantry until he was mustered out at the end of his enlistment in June 1864.

The Carriage Leather Manufactory of James N. Duffy was established in July of 1887. The location of the works was on the old Stull farm, near the junction of the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad and the Bradford, Eldred and Cuba narrow gauge just north of the town of Eldred. Duffy has been connected with this business since 1846, beginning at Newark, NJ, and gave his great industry at this point much personal supervision. In 1889, building additions to the original works were made, and the facilities for tanning and finishing all kinds of leather used in the construction of carriages were manufactured. In addition, several kinds of patent and enameled leather used by saddlers and harness-makers were ample.

Duffy built his mansion near the factory and kept a home in Newark, NJ. Along with his son, James Jr., who died in 1895 at the age of twenty-eight, they built a considerable business and fortune. Col. Duffy died in Newport, Kentucky in 1901. The James N. Duffy Leather Manufacturing Company would later become the Eldred Leather Company had a reported $30,000 capital in June 1907, and the Judsen brothers of Newark, NJ, had taken over the company. During its operational years, the Eldred Leather Company derived its industrial water supply from the river and return discharged tannery wastes to the river. The company handled green salt hides, using both extract and bark, and lime for de-hairing. The liquid wastes were slightly colored by the spent tanning liquors and the estimated discharge amount to be about 10,000 gallons a day.

None of the leather company structures or the mansion are standing today.

James Nicolson Duffy
1829 - 1901

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
East Orange, NJ

Duffy mansion and tannery

1909 Eldred Leather Company map